OAKLAND, Calif. -- It's the season to be jolly?
Not so much with the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors.
Although the Clippers will play the Warriors in Oakland on Christmas night, don't expect the teams to be full of good tidings toward each other because in the past year there has been more acrimony than kindness.
The teams couldn't even hold chapel service together when the Clippers played host to the Warriors on Halloween Night at Staples Center. Golden State was angry, saying this violated the NBA custom of teams holding chapel service together, calling it a spiteful gesture by Los Angeles.
So, Chris Paul was asked, will the Clippers and Warriors have chapel service together Wednesday night before the game?
"I don't know," he said.
Well, Paul was told, Christmas Day is supposed to be peaceful.
"It is, huh?" Paul responded, smiling. "I'm at peace with myself."
But it doesn't sound as if Paul is at peace with the Warriors.
It's probably not accurate to call the Clippers-Warriors a rivalry, because rivalries usually are born from teams meeting in the playoffs over the years.
But it's probably correct to call the Clippers-Warriors games hostile encounters.
"Neither one of us has done anything. I think Indiana and Miami have more of a distaste (for each other)," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "Ours is hopefully growing and I hope that it does in the future.
"We are two teams trying to win the West and going to the Finals. But neither one of us has the right to be angry at either one right now. Let the season go on and we'll see where it goes I think half of it is manufactured hate. It's not real yet. We have not played in the playoffs, so I don't get it."
During the Halloween game, DeAndre Jordan and Andrew Bogut pushed each other, both of them drawing technical fouls.
And Paul repeatedly glared at Klay Thompson after scoring over the Warriors guard.
Blake Griffin also bumped into Warriors Coach Mark Jackson on the sideline when he took the ball out of bounds in front of Golden State's bench.
But this feud actually began last season, when the Warriors won the season series 3-1, leaving the Clippers feeling bitter toward their Northern California counterparts.
The Clippers felt as if the Warriors celebrated too much after their making shots.
However, the Clippers were amused at Jackson when he glared at them during a timeout during the Clippers' only victory, which was a dunk fest.
With all that as a backdrop, it'll be interesting to see what kind of spirit the Clippers and Warriors will bring on Christmas night -- even if Griffin downplayed things.
"I don't dislike them more than any other team," Griffin said before practice Tuesday. "I honestly think that's something people make up themselves to create a story."
Matt Barnes said Tuesday he was "frustrated" that his flagrant two foul was downgraded by the NBA to a flagrant one but that he was still fined $25,000 by the league for not leaving the court in a timely manner after being ejected in Sunday night's game against Minnesota. Barnes had been called for the flagrant two foul against Kevin Love during the Clippers' victory at Staples Center.
"(Referee) Marc Davis told Kevin Love, 'Don't worry. We're going to throw him out,'" Barnes said. "So I kind of knew what his mind-set was. It's definitely a double standard here. But all I can do is play."
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